I 'm going to play with Courier, Edberg & Co. today

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
#1
I 'm going to get a fantastic opportunity to play with my childhood hero Edberg, Courier, Brugera and others today in Dubai. I think I 'll only get about 5 minutes with each of them, but I 'll try get an interview with Edberg and Courier for a few minutes later (I 'm a journalism student).

Any questions?
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
#7
I got a few pictures..will post them once I get them from my friend.

I didn't get to play with Courier or Edberg.

I thought Brugera was the nicest one out there. He seemed genuinely interested in asking questions and talking.

I told Edberg how I stopped watching tennis when he retired (true, I was an idiot. I did resume a few years back), to which Courier remarked that the same was true for him. I said "no you quit watching because you stopped making the quarters after '96." He agreed with a chuckle.

I got to ask Edberg a few questions when he was signing autographs later - and I mistook his wife for a lingering fan cause she had all these rackets for him to sign. She is stunning.

I asked Edberg his views on Sampras beating Federer last year and he replied, "It's an exhibition....it's not a real thing, but still impressive." He added that he would back Federer in a real match.

When I asked him what his most memorable match was, he replied that was a tough one. After signing a couple more of the big fuzzy balls, he said it was always a special thing to win Wimbledon for the first time. He wasn't sure which year that was. I reminded him it was '88.

So would he trade one of his Wimbledon trophies to be able to win that match against Chang at the French?
"No I quite like my Wimbledon trophies," he said.
What about the Australian Open trophies, did he feel they were less prestigious than the other Slams? He said all the Slams were big tournaments...and something else that I can't recall honestly. I was scribbling while standing.

Was tennis more competitive in his era than now? He said something about playing with a lot of great players like McEnroe...while now he said Nadal and Federer are doing something that hasn't been done for 30 or so years. He said they have taken the game to another level.

-------

Me and my friend played doubles against Haarhuis and Brugera - for 10 minutes. Brugera stepped into a flat serve off mine and hit a big inside out backhand winner that kissed the line. My serve is pretty mediocre but it was a sweet return.
I challenged Paul to hit a big serve at me. He responded by acing me - with an underhanded drop serve!
At one point, they were both at the net, and I had a low short ball on the ad side that I was setting up my forehand for, when Paul decided to turn to Brugera and talk - I ended up hitting the tape.
I did get a final laugh though, when Paul was fooling around and I hit a topspin lob winner off my backhand. It was then time for them to move on.

Paul was really cool. He was the only one that stuck around after the event to hang out with the amateurs. He even gave me a couple tips during the game. He noticed after a missed serve that I was letting my head fall and my chin touching my chest during my serve. So when I kept my head up, my serve improved.

I next played against Brugera on the other side, who was paired up with Mohammed Al-Ghareeb (the Kuwaiti player who took a set off Berdych last year in Dubai) while I was paired up with another amateur.

I had gotten used to the standard by then (relaxed, exhibition style) and played some good points including a short angled inside out forehand winner that Brugera did not anticipate.
I asked Brugera to hit a big serve at me. He hit a wide one to my backhand that I couldn't control well enough to clear the net.

I think John Fitzerland was the coolest out of all the "legends" that I met. He and I played against Bahrami and the Director of tennis in Dubai (who got onto the advanced players court when he should have been with the intermediates). John and I got along well. I played my best tennis in those 10 minutes too. I hit a couple serves at Bahrami that he couldn't control. John was surprised at how well I was playing, and kept complimenting me. After one point when I hit a sharp angled crosscourt backhand winner he said "You know what you're doing."
Bahrami actually looked somewhat disinterested in playing. I hit a couple lobs over him that he didn't make much effort to get and his partner had to cover him. The others showed off their athletic skills a bit more and made an effort to retrieve balls. But then the guy's about 60 so I shouldn't expect much. I think I can beat him actually.
 

illkhiboy

Hall of Fame
#8
I had a nice talk with John about terrorism - that came up when I told him that I was from Karachi.

He spoke about how there was ignorance in the west about cultures in the east - and I commented how it went both ways. He agreed and spoke about how we need to foster understanding.

I asked him what strings he was using. He has Babolat Hurricane on the crosses and Natural Gut on the mains.
 
#10
Bahrami actually looked somewhat disinterested in playing. I hit a couple lobs over him that he didn't make much effort to get and his partner had to cover him. The others showed off their athletic skills a bit more and made an effort to retrieve balls. But then the guy's about 60 so I shouldn't expect much. I think I can beat him actually.

Yeah in the same way that I would beat Fed Rafa Andy and Novak, back to back. Comments like yours (copied above) show an intrinsic lack of respect, and expose the facile, shallow way that people (who have truely earned kudos) are short changed by your kind who can only talk. If you do somehow become a journalist in the future you may want to reflect on this.

Also consider that the 60 year old, you didnt expect much from, didnt believe you were worth even the basic effort if would have taken to embarrass you. Maybe he was being charitable - surely a consideration you didnt even deserve - sickening !
 
1

1970CRBase

Guest
#12
I would have asked Edberg about the exact racquet he is using right now and also his precise setup. :)
 

vbranis

Professional
#14
I got a few pictures..will post them once I get them from my friend.

I didn't get to play with Courier or Edberg.

I thought Brugera was the nicest one out there. He seemed genuinely interested in asking questions and talking.

I told Edberg how I stopped watching tennis when he retired (true, I was an idiot. I did resume a few years back), to which Courier remarked that the same was true for him. I said "no you quit watching because you stopped making the quarters after '96." He agreed with a chuckle.

I got to ask Edberg a few questions when he was signing autographs later - and I mistook his wife for a lingering fan cause she had all these rackets for him to sign. She is stunning.

I asked Edberg his views on Sampras beating Federer last year and he replied, "It's an exhibition....it's not a real thing, but still impressive." He added that he would back Federer in a real match.

When I asked him what his most memorable match was, he replied that was a tough one. After signing a couple more of the big fuzzy balls, he said it was always a special thing to win Wimbledon for the first time. He wasn't sure which year that was. I reminded him it was '88.

So would he trade one of his Wimbledon trophies to be able to win that match against Chang at the French?
"No I quite like my Wimbledon trophies," he said.
What about the Australian Open trophies, did he feel they were less prestigious than the other Slams? He said all the Slams were big tournaments...and something else that I can't recall honestly. I was scribbling while standing.

Was tennis more competitive in his era than now? He said something about playing with a lot of great players like McEnroe...while now he said Nadal and Federer are doing something that hasn't been done for 30 or so years. He said they have taken the game to another level.

-------

Me and my friend played doubles against Haarhuis and Brugera - for 10 minutes. Brugera stepped into a flat serve off mine and hit a big inside out backhand winner that kissed the line. My serve is pretty mediocre but it was a sweet return.
I challenged Paul to hit a big serve at me. He responded by acing me - with an underhanded drop serve!
At one point, they were both at the net, and I had a low short ball on the ad side that I was setting up my forehand for, when Paul decided to turn to Brugera and talk - I ended up hitting the tape.
I did get a final laugh though, when Paul was fooling around and I hit a topspin lob winner off my backhand. It was then time for them to move on.

Paul was really cool. He was the only one that stuck around after the event to hang out with the amateurs. He even gave me a couple tips during the game. He noticed after a missed serve that I was letting my head fall and my chin touching my chest during my serve. So when I kept my head up, my serve improved.

I next played against Brugera on the other side, who was paired up with Mohammed Al-Ghareeb (the Kuwaiti player who took a set off Berdych last year in Dubai) while I was paired up with another amateur.

I had gotten used to the standard by then (relaxed, exhibition style) and played some good points including a short angled inside out forehand winner that Brugera did not anticipate.
I asked Brugera to hit a big serve at me. He hit a wide one to my backhand that I couldn't control well enough to clear the net.

I think John Fitzerland was the coolest out of all the "legends" that I met. He and I played against Bahrami and the Director of tennis in Dubai (who got onto the advanced players court when he should have been with the intermediates). John and I got along well. I played my best tennis in those 10 minutes too. I hit a couple serves at Bahrami that he couldn't control. John was surprised at how well I was playing, and kept complimenting me. After one point when I hit a sharp angled crosscourt backhand winner he said "You know what you're doing."
Bahrami actually looked somewhat disinterested in playing. I hit a couple lobs over him that he didn't make much effort to get and his partner had to cover him. The others showed off their athletic skills a bit more and made an effort to retrieve balls. But then the guy's about 60 so I shouldn't expect much. I think I can beat him actually.
Thanks for sharing, very interesting, I enjoyed it.

BTW, Bahrami is only 52, not that old. I saw him play a few times and he is very good, lots of trick shots and general feel of the ball. I'm assuming that he didn't try his best during the match, otherwise you would have been more impressed with him.
 
Last edited:
#16
Thanks for your comments.

Let me clarify that I wrote my original post last night without editing. I quickly typed that so as to record my fresh memories. So my thoughts on Bahrami were just unedited thoughts. Perhaps he would beat me handily.

I saw Brugera joke around while trading volleys and was amazed by his reflexes - time seemed to stand still for him. I was amazed by how early Courier took some balls and sent them rocketing back off either wing.

I saw just about everyone else impress me with their skills somehow. Aside from Bahrami. And I don't remember being amazed by John Fitzgerald either. But he didn't get a chance to hit a lot of balls during our short doubles game.

Perhaps Bahrami was tired yeserday, or bored. Maybe he just didn't want to exert himself much since he has an actual match today.

I will say this about playing competitively with Bahrami. Even though Bahrami has no doubt better skills with his racquet than I do, he is overweight and 52. I 'm a fit 23 year old.

And I do play at a pretty high level. I have practiced with professionals or players that have played Davis Cup matches so I have an idea of the sort of standard needed to be competitive with these guys.
 
Last edited:
#18
Yeah in the same way that I would beat Fed Rafa Andy and Novak, back to back. Comments like yours (copied above) show an intrinsic lack of respect, and expose the facile, shallow way that people (who have truely earned kudos) are short changed by your kind who can only talk. If you do somehow become a journalist in the future you may want to reflect on this.

Also consider that the 60 year old, you didnt expect much from, didnt believe you were worth even the basic effort if would have taken to embarrass you. Maybe he was being charitable - surely a consideration you didnt even deserve - sickening !
I 'm curious. What sickened you so much about my comment? I don't expect a 52 year old guy to lunge for balls and run across half the court to put the ball back into play in an exhibition game.

And I 'm also curious about my kind. Please enlighten me.

I am the sort who can just talk? Now, I 'm not that great a player, but then I haven't revealed who I am. What if I was Pakistan's number three player? How would you know? Just because I voiced an opinion about being capable enough to beat Bahrami, I 'm disrespectful?
 
#19
This is great stuff! Can I ask your opinion on Edberg? It seems you had a few minutes to chat with him and take notes. Did you find him friendly/approachable?

I've heard various stories from people who've met Stefan, some say he's very nice, others say he's distant and aloof. I do know that he's shy and sometimes that's taken the wrong way. What was your feeling?
 
#20
I 'm curious. What sickened you so much about my comment? I don't expect a 52 year old guy to lunge for balls and run across half the court to put the ball back into play in an exhibition game.

And I 'm also curious about my kind. Please enlighten me.

I am the sort who can just talk? Now, I 'm not that great a player, but then I haven't revealed who I am. What if I was Pakistan's number three player? How would you know? Just because I voiced an opinion about being capable enough to beat Bahrami, I 'm disrespectful?
The comment by nickynu is totally uncalled for. There are some posts on this board that are disrespectful to pros, particularly women, i feel.
But your post isn´t among them. It´s very interesting and well written.
I would also like to know, whether you have any info on Edbergs racket and set-up? And are there pictures of the event?
 
#21
I 'm curious. What sickened you so much about my comment? I don't expect a 52 year old guy to lunge for balls and run across half the court to put the ball back into play in an exhibition game.

And I 'm also curious about my kind. Please enlighten me.

I am the sort who can just talk? Now, I 'm not that great a player, but then I haven't revealed who I am. What if I was Pakistan's number three player? How would you know? Just because I voiced an opinion about being capable enough to beat Bahrami, I 'm disrespectful?
hi thanks I am not interested in ripping into you as you are clearly a good guy who wants to share a fabulous experience with others so that they can enjoy it too.

Honestly I did find your comments about bahrami (a grand slam finalist)sickening and lacking in even a basic level of respect, given the hardships and sacrifice he endured till he was 30 ( I assume you are aware), but if you dont see that, then its pointless me giving a point by point critique.

In terms of ability, I really hope that for the sake of your countries tennis programme that you are not No3 as this would be a worry bearing in mind the basic level of coaching tip that seemed like a revelation to you, on dropping your head on the serve. Luckily I am assuming that this is not the case

I wish you well especially if you become a journalist. But I would urge you to be more respectful and see through what appears on the surface, and that will serve you well
 
#22
This is great stuff! Can I ask your opinion on Edberg? It seems you had a few minutes to chat with him and take notes. Did you find him friendly/approachable?

I've heard various stories from people who've met Stefan, some say he's very nice, others say he's distant and aloof. I do know that he's shy and sometimes that's taken the wrong way. What was your feeling?
I met Stefan in 2003 at a tennis camp and was able to chat quite a bit with him several times.
He was friendly and VERY approachable. I was very interested in how he hit his volleys and backhand
and he gladly picked up his racquet, showed me his grip and technique and gave me some tips as well.
I also saw him in the hotel lobby after the event and
he was again very approachable and willing to chat a bit even though his wife/kids were waiting.
Great guy!
 
#23
This is great stuff! Can I ask your opinion on Edberg? It seems you had a few minutes to chat with him and take notes. Did you find him friendly/approachable?


I've heard various stories from people who've met Stefan, some say he's very nice, others say he's distant and aloof. I do know that he's shy and sometimes that's taken the wrong way. What was your feeling?
Hey, I 'm glad you enjoyed the piece.

Yeah when I first met him he came across as distant and aloof to me as well. But I guessed he was shy and perhaps he doesn't open up to strangers easily. He seemed more at ease when he was with Courier and co.


Though when he was playing doubles with my friend (lucky ******) he was smiling and joking around a bit. I guess he was more comfortable on the court.

Later during our interview, I thought we had begun to establish some rapport as he seemed friendlier by the end.

His wife, however, was warm from the get go.

And no I 'm sorry I didn't ask him anything about his equipment.

hi thanks I am not interested in ripping into you as you are clearly a good guy who wants to share a fabulous experience with others so that they can enjoy it too.

Honestly I did find your comments about bahrami (a grand slam finalist)sickening and lacking in even a basic level of respect, given the hardships and sacrifice he endured till he was 30 ( I assume you are aware), but if you dont see that, then its pointless me giving a point by point critique.

In terms of ability, I really hope that for the sake of your countries tennis programme that you are not No3 as this would be a worry bearing in mind the basic level of coaching tip that seemed like a revelation to you, on dropping your head on the serve. Luckily I am assuming that this is not the case

I wish you well especially if you become a journalist. But I would urge you to be more respectful and see through what appears on the surface, and that will serve you well
Aha, that's what gave it away. Yeah I 'm far from the top 10 at the moment and my country's tennis is better for it.

Tsk, my computer's on the verge of collapse let me post this much I 'll get back to you later.
 
#24
Thanks for the responses! Seems to me then that Edberg is more comfortable letting loose on the tennis court or if there aren't a lot of other people around. That's perfectly understandable. For example, I know of people who used to work out at the same club/gym as he did in London and said he was very aloof. Then there was a woman who met him at a gas station in Miami (of all places) and said he was super nice and even let her take a pic with him leaning against his car.

The Swedes tend to be more reserved, in my experience, but I've never met one who wasn't friendly. Tennis players that is. Last time I was at the US Open I had a quick chat with Thomas Johansson who was very nice but didn't seem comfortable getting a lot of attention. Pretty shy and quiet guy he seemed to me. He was practicing with Jonas Bjorkman who, as many on these boards who've met him will say, is very open and talkative.

Incidentally that same day I ran into Sebastien Grosjean who seemed a little unfriendly but when I (literally) chased him down for an autograph he was really cool and all smiles.
 
#25
Thanks for the responses! Seems to me then that Edberg is more comfortable letting loose on the tennis court or if there aren't a lot of other people around. That's perfectly understandable. For example, I know of people who used to work out at the same club/gym as he did in London and said he was very aloof. Then there was a woman who met him at a gas station in Miami (of all places) and said he was super nice and even let her take a pic with him leaning against his car.

The Swedes tend to be more reserved, in my experience, but I've never met one who wasn't friendly. Tennis players that is. Last time I was at the US Open I had a quick chat with Thomas Johansson who was very nice but didn't seem comfortable getting a lot of attention. Pretty shy and quiet guy he seemed to me. He was practicing with Jonas Bjorkman who, as many on these boards who've met him will say, is very open and talkative.

Incidentally that same day I ran into Sebastien Grosjean who seemed a little unfriendly but when I (literally) chased him down for an autograph he was really cool and all smiles.
Haha funny that he got friendlier the more stalker-ish you acted. :)

J/K

hi thanks I am not interested in ripping into you as you are clearly a good guy who wants to share a fabulous experience with others so that they can enjoy it too.

Honestly I did find your comments about bahrami (a grand slam finalist)sickening and lacking in even a basic level of respect, given the hardships and sacrifice he endured till he was 30 ( I assume you are aware), but if you dont see that, then its pointless me giving a point by point critique.

In terms of ability, I really hope that for the sake of your countries tennis programme that you are not No3 as this would be a worry bearing in mind the basic level of coaching tip that seemed like a revelation to you, on dropping your head on the serve. Luckily I am assuming that this is not the case

I wish you well especially if you become a journalist. But I would urge you to be more respectful and see through what appears on the surface, and that will serve you well
Hey I wasn't aware of Bahrami's struggles. I re-read my initial paragraph on Bahrami and I can understand why it came across as disrespectful. But it wasn't meant to be.

Anyway I don't think just because he had to endure hardships I should be more cautious when talking about his talents. As I said, he is quite old to be jumping around in a meaningless exhibition game so I don't begrudge him for that. I 'm just saying he failed to impress me with his skills as the others, and that I think I can actually beat the guy. That's my opinion, and I admit I could be totally wrong.
 
#26
Hey I wasn't aware of Bahrami's struggles. I re-read my initial paragraph on Bahrami and I can understand why it came across as disrespectful. But it wasn't meant to be.

Anyway I don't think just because he had to endure hardships I should be more cautious when talking about his talents. As I said, he is quite old to be jumping around in a meaningless exhibition game so I don't begrudge him for that. I 'm just saying he failed to impress me with his skills as the others, and that I think I can actually beat the guy. That's my opinion, and I admit I could be totally wrong.
Cool, anyway it sounds like you had a great time, which for me is what tennis is all about- best wishes
 
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